A+V Models 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Me-163 C
By Allan Wanta
Late in World War Two the Germans developed, and put into combat, the rocket powered Me-163B Komet. Although fast and highly maneuverable, it had its shortcomings: One was that it was an accident waiting to happen; two that its limited fuel capacity meant only six minutes of powered flight. The development of the Me-163 C was born of the need to extend the combat time of this rocket marvel. Using the tail plane and wings of the B version mated to an entirely redesigned fuselage, the C version was born. The C version was to utilize a cruising chamber added to the Walter rocket motor to increase flight time to 12 minutes. Three prototypes are thought to have been built, with one flown, however all were destroyed to prevent capture by the Soviets. As they were still only armed with two MG 151 or MK 108 cannons, they probably would have had the same limited success as the 163-B craft.
The A+V models resin kit has been around for a couple of years and I thought it would be nice to get it and round out the 1/48 line up of 163s. Starting with the box, which is the same for all the A+V kits, the 1/48 scale kit is literally crammed into the space made for a 1/72-scale kit. A large bag held all the resin parts in separate pockets, as well as metal, photo etched and small decal sheet. Held was the word and the parts were loose in the box, but looked undamaged.
Finely cast in tan resin, details are scribed and will represent the surface of the 163 very well. Two hollow fuselage halves two solid wings, left and right, a separate tail plane and a fuselage end plate with two rocket nozzles make up the main parts. The interior consists of a resin cockpit tub, again strangely familiar (i.e. DML), metal control column resin control panel, rear bulkhead and a seat. A photo-etched fret from Eduard for the Me-163-B is included and one has the choice of resin control panel or the etched panel with acetate backing, hard choice, as both look good. Rounding off the parts is the suspicious piece of copper wire, which accompanies every A+V kit, if anyone knows or has ever used this item is not known to me! A small decal consisting of two swastikas is it for transfers and the kit calls for overall RLM 02 as the camouflage. As the real thing didn't get even close to combat this is probably correct.
Instructions are two simple 8 1/2 by 11 sheets with exploded parts location, side and top views, no text or pictures of the real thing.
Although not a simple kit as in the DML and upcoming Revell Me-163-B kit, it fills the niche in the Komet heraldry. Overall the kit looks to be a pleasant build as long as one has had some previous Resin kit experience.
Azur Potez 452